Have you ever heard the quip “You won't miss it until it's gone?” In my case, I grew up in Australia, surrounded by beautiful beaches and towns, but I always longed for the historic cobblestone streets of Europe. When I finally got to travel to those places, I absolutely loved them, but it also made me appreciate my home a lot more. When strangers would ask me about my country, I would gladly babble on about the delights of watching the boats sail in under the Sydney Harbour Bridge while strolling around Circular Quay eating a creamy mint chocolate gelato.
Where is NCIS Sydney Filmed?
As much as I love being a digital nomad, Australia will always be home. When I heard NCIS was making a new series set in Sydney, I wanted to know where they would be filming and how many people would find a new fascination for the land Down Under. While news that the production company arrived at North Bondi Beach in Sydney made the news, the trailer also reveals multiple locations I recognized and want to share with readers.
1. Fleet Base East
Fleet Base East is a significant naval base located in Sydney. This location seems an obvious choice for a show centered around the Navy. While there is an actual US Naval base in Western Australia, this strategic hub for the Royal Australian Navy in Sydney features in the show. Tours for the public are held every Thursday morning from Garden Island Defence Precinct, Potts Point, NSW, and are subject to Department of Defence permission. Children under 12 are not permitted.
2. Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge, opened in 1932, is an engineering marvel that spans Sydney Harbour. It's one of the most recognizable landmarks in Australia and has vehicle and pedestrian access. The bridge connects the central business district with the North Shore. If you've ever watched the New Year's Eve firework display from Sydney, it will feature this bridge as a backdrop. It's one of the most recognizable man-made structures in relation to the country.
3. Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is an architectural masterpiece that graces the Sydney waterfront. It's just celebrated its 50th anniversary. While building commenced in 1959, it took 14 years before it was completed. You can also take a tour. This iconic venue hosts various performances, from world-class operas to contemporary concerts. Its distinctive sail-like design makes it a must-see for visitors, and it features heavily as a backdrop for the new NCIS series.
4. Luna Park
This location was revealed by executive producer Morgan O'Neill to TheMessenger.com. You'll find it on the other side of the harbor from the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. One of the passenger ferries can easily reach it, which is a great—and cost-effective—way to get around the harbor. Luna Park is a historic amusement, and it's known for its iconic entrance with a smiling face. It's often a nostalgic spot for locals and tourists and a great place to enjoy classic carnival rides and games with stunning views of Sydney Harbor.
5. Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach is one of Australia's most famous beaches, and it's just a short drive from Sydney's city center. It's renowned for its golden sands, great surf, and vibrant beach culture. Locals and tourists enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and exploring the nearby cafés and shops. Earlier this year, Australian newspapers started reporting that they had seen production crews for NCIS Sydney start turning up at the beach, so we can expect to see this stunning location in the show — despite some of the more gory aspects that will be present.
6. The Rocks
The Rocks is a historic area in the heart of Sydney. It has cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and a lively atmosphere. When the English started transporting people to Australia, this was their first stop, and the unplanned nature of the street layout shows the rapidity with which this city was built. Its close proximity to the Harbour Bridge means you will likely see this area in filming. You can find markets, restaurants, and a glimpse into Sydney's colonial past in this charming neighborhood. Look out for the Rocks Walking Tours if you want to learn about the area's history.
7. Argyle Cut
The Argyle Cut is a section of the historic Argyle Street in The Rocks. This rock-carved tunnel was created by convicts in the early 19th century and demonstrates the labor that went into building Sydney's early infrastructure. The NCIS Sydney trailer shows a chase scene going up these steps, which is ironic because when it was first created, it was a place where criminal gangs known as the Push would hang out.
8. Circular Quay
Circular Quay is a bustling transport hub in Sydney. It's where you can catch ferries to various destinations, including the iconic Manly Beach. The area is surrounded by award-winning restaurants where you can enjoy a meal right on the waterfront. You'll also find shops, and it's a great starting point for exploring the city. Viewers can expect to see this bustling location as a backdrop in the new spinoff series.
9. Misty Mountain – Cannabullen Falls
Misty Mountain's Cannabullen Falls is a picturesque natural spot in Australia's beautiful wilderness in Queensland. I'm unsure how heavily this location will feature in the show, but it was definitely a recognizable shot in the NCIS Sydney trailer and is worth a mention for nature lovers. The name alone evokes a sense of tranquility and a connection to nature. It's a place to immerse yourself in one of the stunning Australian landscapes.
10. Byron Bay
This was another landscape shot that was featured in the trailer. The Cape Byron Lighthouse is a distinctive feature, perched on a rocky headland surrounded by breathtaking coastal views. Byron Bay is a coastal town known for its relaxed, bohemian atmosphere. It's a haven for surfers, nature lovers, and those seeking a laid-back lifestyle.
11. 12 Apostles
In the trailer, I was surprised to see this iconic Australian feature located along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. My belief is that the producers are attempting to showcase Australia's stunning and diverse landscape. The Twelve Apostles is a natural wonder of limestone rock formations that stand tall in the Southern Ocean and are a stunning sight. While there are no longer twelve formations due to erosion, the remaining structures are a testament to the power of nature.
NCIS: Sydney will air on Mondays, beginning Monday, Nov 13, on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.